Banking On Tanking: Agree to Disagree (for now)

Banking on Tanking

The initial intro to this post included a passionate defense of the 76ers rebuild plan and borrowed much too heavily from multiple Rocky Balboa monologues. It was terrible. If you want to catch a glimpse of it you’ll have to add the Pattison Ave extended director’s cut to your Christmas wish list.

There was nothing really horrible about the presentation. I juxtaposed the Hinke plan to our cultures’ obsession with instant results (6 week abs! Make thousands working from home! Click this link to add 5 inches to your…) and even added a chill metaphor relating this rebuild to untangling a pair of headphones (It’s going to be a long and often times extremely frustrating process, but it’s necessary to reach your ultimate goal; Championships/City High).

Anyway, I ended up making a last minute audible after receiving a phone call from my buddy Ward. Our late night conversations stem back to our semesters living together at Bloomsburg University and they still generally relate to the same two topics: ABC’s LOST or Vince McMahon’s WWE.  On the eve of Survivor Series, this exchange focused on the latter.   After sharing our mutual unenthusiasm for this weekend’s card, we eventually found ourselves on the familiar topic of CM Punk. Now if you are not current on your WWE knowledge, just get the hell out. I don’t have time to hold your hand here. This is a column for learned adult’s who bet on basketball and watch professional wrestling. Come back once you get your head on straight.

So this conversation turned into an argument about whether we ever think CM Punk will return to the WWE. I firmly believe that he will, while Ward wrongly assumes Punk will be the first person in the history of the WWE universe to ever retire from pro wrestling and then disappear from the ring forever. This has actually been a recurring argument for several months now, and it eventually morphed into a wager. One hundred dollars now rides on the mystery of if CM Punk will one day wrestle again.

Notice a problem with the wager? There is no definitive end date. We are not betting that CM Punk won’t return at this year’s Royal Rumble or 2019’s Wrestlemania, but just ever. So in theory, we could be having this same argument 3 years from now, with neither of us being any closer to being proven right. Until CM Punk either dies or appears on Monday Night Raw, me and Ward are like two message board commenters; stuck in a never ending cycle of yelling at each other unproductively in cap locks for the foreseeable future.

And this is the same problem with the 76ers rebuild argument. It’s easy to understand the case for both sides. Sure, tanking might be the safest and most efficient way to create a contender in the modern NBA environment.  But yeah, maybe the 76ers are creating a culture of losing that will stunt the young players’ development and drag the organization down.  We all have our opinions, but the trouble is that whether we are right or we are wrong, we are still 2-3 years from any of this being definitively settled.  That’s a long time to have the same discussion.

My suggestion?  Let’s all relax. There is pretty much nothing we can learn from this current Sixers team. Are you really trying to distinguish between bad habits and bad coaching and bad talent and bad strategy and so on?  Good luck to you then. Me? I’ve just accepted the fact that they are a bad team, and I am going to cash in by betting against them now just in case CM Punk is enjoying his guest stints on The Talking Dead more than I feared.

Speaking of returns, let’s update our list of the greatest of all time.

1) Green Ranger is reborn as the White Ranger

2) Wild Thing at the end of Major League 2

3) Community returning for a 6th season

314) Myspace

400) Ninja Turtle Movies

516) Michael Carter Williams

That may be a little harsh. After all, he is fresh off six months of little basketball activity and his supporting staff isn’t winning any awards besides “most times reassigned to the D-league in a month” and “Most unlikely to be recognized at an Applebees”. But yesh, it’s been a rough start to the season for our reigning rookie of the year. It’s seems crazy to think that just a week ago I publicly admitted feeling nervous about the 76ers possibly defeating the Dallas Mavericks!

The Sixers host the Suns, Trail Blazers, and the Nets this week while sneaking in an away game at the Knicks. Last week I learned two things: That the only way I’ll ever look stupid writing this column is if I predict the 76ers might win a game, and that I need to win a lot of money against the Sixers because I am terrible at betting on football.

Last week I bet $50 dollhairs on each game, winning 3 out of the 4 (with the Rockets game being the lone defeat).  Currently sitting up $100 dollhairs, I see no reason to switch my strategy up. I’ll once again be placing $50 dollhairs on the 76ers to lose every game this week. Here’s hoping the Vegas lines are gentle!

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